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Lecture 15

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS260
Professor
Carolyn Ensley
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 15Chapter 11 Visual KnowledgeLecture OutlineVisual ImageryVisual ImageryA variety of daytoday problems seem to require the use of visual imageryHow many windows are in your apartmentWas David in class yesterdayWill this sweater look good with your blue pantsWhat is the nature of these mental imagesVisual ImageryFrancis Galton 1883 used the method of introspection to study mental imageryHis participants self reports suggested that they could inspect their images in much the same way as a pictureThe participants also differed widely in the amount of detail their mental images seemed to contain Or were these differences in selfreporting styleVisual ImageryStudies of visual imagery in the last fifty years have avoided introspection and instead ask participants to do something with their imagesto read information off them or manipulate them in some wayChronometric studies measure the amount of time required by a cognitive process of interestVisual ImageryKosslyn 1976 asked participants to answer yesno questions about their mental imagesIf participants imagined a cat they were faster to confirm that cats have heads compared to confirming that cats have clawsThe fact that cats have claws is something that differs cats from other animalsThe reverse was true if the participants were asked to think about cats not to imagine themThis suggests that as the mode of representation changes so does the pattern of information availabilityVisual ImageryOther studies have used the imagescanning procedure to study mental imageryKosslyn et al 1978 first asked participants to memorize this mapThey were then asked to mentally scan from one landmark to another on the imagined mapVisual ImageryThe time it took to scan the image corresponded to the distance on the mapThus mental images seem to preserve the spatial layout and geometry of the represented sceneVisual ImageryThe mentalrotation task also suggests that mental images preserve spatial information in three dimensions
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